Gretel Braids + Ikat Dress

August 6, 2012

You talked me into it. I need a lot of hairspray, but this braiding thing is kind of fun! If I’m completely honest though, next time I leave the house in this dress it will be paired with Chacos and a messy pony. That’s just who I am.

I started this dress when I was still in Utah and had to set it aside when we started packing. I fully intended to rip out that waistband and cut a new one once I was settled. It’s not centered and there’s more black on one side than the other. I had already hand-sewed the waistband facing in and installed the zipper. I decided it wasn’t worth it and pressed on. From the photos I don’t think you can really tell. And if you can, you would probably be too polite to say anything to my face. There’s nothing too exciting inside. Just some serging and an excessive amount of edgestitching. My usual.

Fabric: B&J ikat. It’s an epidemic

Pattern: Simplicity 2497 by Cynthia Rowley

Mods: Size 8 top, size 10 waistband. Because I had a limited amount of fabric (maybe 1.5 yards? I don’t remember), I cut two rectangles with what I had for the skirt. I think the proportions would look better if it was longer. In fact, the maxi dress version would be super cute. I think I also raised the neckline a bit.

Whew! It feels good to finish one of my WIP’s.

Finished: Chevron High-Low Hem Dress

May 2, 2012

pattern: The bodice is from Simplicity 2497.


  • lengthened the bodice CF 2″ and the CB 1″
  • added 1″ to the CF neckline
  • created a skirt by lengthening the bodice sections
  • slashed and spread the back skirt piece to make it fuller – adding 6″ total to the hemline.
  • sewed the skirt and bodice pieces together then made a casing for elastic.
  • totally made up the high-low hem. I think there’s a difference of 5″.

fabric: cotton from Nuttall’s. I’m not sure it’s necessarily an ikat, but the stripes are woven, not printed.

Soooo, I like this dress. It only took a few days to complete, it’s finished nicely and I’ll wear it often. The part that I don’t like is the elastic casing. It tends to shift around and I feel like I’m constantly adjusting the waist. Next time I would sew a waistband and create a fuller skirt.

Which is exactly what that Simplicity pattern consists of…

I was so excited about the french seams and pretty finishings that I forgot to sew in the pockets! They’re still cut out on my desk. I’m a huge fan of pockets because otherwise I’m not really sure where to put my hands. Shootz.

My love for edgestitching OBVIOUSLY has no bounds.

I have so much to show you guys that I’m kind of freaking out about it – two more dresses, a dyeing project and can someone please tell me how to sew crepe de chine?? I’m working on a Tiny Pocket Tank in the most amazing silk fabric and there have already been tears. Do I need a stabilizer? THANKS.

Finished: The Sweatshirt Dress – Simplicity 2054

March 30, 2012

Pattern: Simplicity 2054 – by Cynthia Rowley. I cut out view B with the cowl in a size 12.


  • lengthened the waist seam by 1″
  • swayback by 1″
  • took out 1.5″ from the back center seam
  • took an additional 1.5″ from the top center back to prevent gaping
  • scooped out the neckline by a couple of inches.

Fabric: sweatshirt fleece that I bought years ago from Denver Fabrics.

I’m happy with the dress. It’s comfortable and fits pretty well (though may be overfitted…). As you can see, all of my stressing about the back fitting was for naught as there is still bunching and weirdness. Next time I’ll just cut it on the fold. This was a blast to sew. It was super quick and I love, love, love sewing with a twin needle. Someday I’ll get a coverstitch machine, but for now it’s pretty satisfying.

Finished: Paperbag Skirt – Simplicity 2413

March 30, 2012

pattern: simplicity 2413

mods: none

fabric: black cotton twill from Joann’s

I should’ve made this out of a floral or something bright. I don’t think black is the right color for this style. The fit is pretty good although there’s a bit of weird poofing in the back. Next time I’ll play around with the back pleats to make sure they’re flattering.

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